As far as glitches, bugs, and exploits go, few video game franchises can touch the Fallout series. It’s probably no surprise that games with this kind of scope and open-ended approach can slip up from time to time in their design, mechanics, and other developmental aspects. However, the Fallout games have arguably set a new record for most mistakes in a video game series.
However, some of them aren’t always immediately noticeable to the untrained eye. Whether it’s discrepancies in the game’s timeline, factual problems with the game’s manual, or the ability to glitch into an unused area in the game, the Fallout series has contained a plethora of mistakes throughout its storied existence. While some of them are certainly hard to pinpoint, many of them will have you kicking yourself for never having spotted them before. Not even your trusty Pip-Boy can help you decipher these blunders, so allow us to do it for you instead.
Fancy yourself as a Fallout expert? Well, feast your eyes upon these obscure errors in the popular series, as we countdown 25 shocking mistakes you never noticed in the Fallout series. After reading this, you’ll never look at the wasteland the same way again…
25 Keep Your Head Screwed On (Fallout: New Vegas)
Fan of horror games? If so, you might want to grab yourself a copy of Fallout: New Vegas. Why? Well, because the game featured one of the most terrifying glitches in any game: those freaky rotating heads on the NPCs.
Yes, for some bewildering reason, many players were plagued by the frightening coding error. So instead of just your average non-playable characters, you got ones who seemed to be taking a page out of Regan from The Exorcist’s playbook.
Maybe the developers could say that it’s because they were mutated from the radiation. However, we all know that’d be a lie. Still, if you’re yearning for some more scares in the wasteland, this spooky mistake may be just what the evil doctor ordered.
24 Faulty Manual (Fallout 2)
The second installment of the Fallout franchise featured one very peculiar mistake which wasn’t actually in the game itself, but rather, in its booklet. Because if you flick through to the conversion table found in the manual, you’ll quickly realize that all is not what it seems…
Bafflingly, many of the conversions are incorrect. 120 minutes is inexplicably converted to 1 hour, 1 kilometer is weirdly equated to 2,500 meters, and 1 kilogram is 2,080 grams – all of which are mind-bogglingly wrong. What gives?!
Props go to UmberBane for flagging this one up on Reddit. Even more intriguing are the many theories regarding why it’s wrong in the first place, and why it might actually be a deliberate move by those pesky developers at Bethesda…
23 Unavoidable Bad Endings (Fallout 1)
If you want to play a bug-free version of Fallout 1, good luck. Unless you install the Fixt program which (you guessed it) fixes a lot of the problems, chances are you’ll run into countless game design problems – one of which pretty much negates making key decisions.
All roads ultimately end in tragedy, regardless of your good deeds. Unfortunately, this bug means that no matter how many quests you complete for an area, you’ll still get a bad ending at the title’s conclusion.
It’s a shame too because so much of the series is built around your choices, so anything getting in the way of that is obviously a considerable issue. So yeah, you should probably download Fixt if you want the game to function properly.
22 Caps Galore (Fallout 3)
Running out of caps in the wasteland? Fallout 3 has you covered, although, it never intended to. Yes, this mistake could be a blessing in disguise for those who don’t want to work for their metallic goodies, as it pretty much gives you an infinite number of them.
No more slumming it the dirty bogs and marshes looking for currency, even though it is quite an arduous process. To use this exploit you have to go to any shopkeeper in the game world, ensure they have more than one piece of the same item, buy the one that’s in the worst condition, and sell it back.
You’ll receive extra caps that you wouldn’t have otherwise had in the kitty, and best of all, you can keep repeating the same transaction until your pouch is bulging (just realized how bad that sounded…)
21 Off To A Bad Start (Fallout 4)
Ah, who doesn’t love booting up a new game for the first time? RPGs are especially good at enticing players with their magical introductions and awe-inspiring lore. So imagine how disappointed many gamers were when they started Fallout 4 only for it to crash on them at the very beginning.
If you were one of the (sadly many) unlucky ones who had this glitch take place, we feel for you. It happens during the prologue following the creation of your character. Once you exit the cryogenic chamber, you’ll find that you can’t move, or do anything for that matter, apart from pause the game. The solution? Restarting the game and sitting through the cut-scene for the second time. Joy…
I’ve ranted about this before but can’t developers quell these problems before the game hits shelves? Somehow during testing, they missed this huge glitch, despite it happening right at the start of it!
20 Eye For An Eye (Fallout: New Vegas)
We know that nuclear blasts can mutate lifeforms, but we don’t think Bethesda meant it with this peculiar bug in Fallout: New Vegas. Yes, because if you’ve got your eagle eye out, you’ll notice that some of the dogs don’t exactly have their eyes in the right place…
For some bizarre reason, a bug in the game has some of the canines to sport eyes on the side of their heads, creepily leaving hollowed-out eye sockets at the front. We’ve heard of having eyes on the back of your head, but not on the side of it.
It’s just one error in a long list of design flaws in the game, but it’s certainly one of the most alarming mistakes to be found in the game.
19 Rewarded For Doing Nothing (Fallout 2)
Normally, quests in RPGs have you overcoming insurmountable odds, whether it be taking down an overpowered monster, or obtaining a hard to find object. In Fallout 2, however, one quest is so easy, that it doesn’t even matter if you fully meet the conditions of it.
The bug in question can be found in the mission Rescue Chrissy, in which the player is tasked with killing Zeke and rescuing Chrissy. Weirdly, though, if you destroy the former without saving the latter, you’ll still be told by Dalia that you’ve completed the quest.
Are you on something Dalia? Poor Chrissy hasn’t been rescued and you’re acting like she has been. Nonetheless, at least you’ve been rewarded for doing something which you never did in the first place. Win!
18 This Timeline Doesn’t Add Up (Fallout 1)
The first Fallout game is iconic in the sense that it was the one that started it all, however, it’s certainly not without its faults (as we mentioned earlier). Another mistake which can be found in the game is the wonky timeline which the game purports to be set during.
If you whip out your (usually) reliable Pip-Boy during Irwin’s quest, you’ll notice that two days have been eaten up before the vault is due to run out of water. Makes sense right? Well, not really, considering the fact that the mission itself takes two weeks to complete within the game.
So yeah, maybe the Pip-Boy isn’t always on the money, as evidenced by this eye-rolling blunder.
17 Hit The Ground Running (Fallout 3)
Ever haplessly stumble off a cliff in the Fallout games, meaning certain death? Well, we’ve got a neat little workaround for you right here. In can be utilized in Fallout 3, and will see you somehow plant your feet on the terra firma without so much as a scratch.
Simply save the game mid-fall, boot it back up again, and you’ll hit the ground like nothing happened. Okay, so it is cheating slightly, but for all you devious players out there, this is sure to come in handy.
You can achieve a similar feat by entering V.A.T.S just before the moment of impact, targeting an enemy and shooting at it, exiting it, and voila! You’re still in one piece, without the painstaking wait for the game to load back up again.
16 Catch Me If You Can (Fallout 4)
If teleportation is more your thing, then this entry should prove useful. Because while there is no ‘official’ way to do it, you can certainly use an exploit to do it. It’s quite a finicky and arduous process, but who said teleportation was easy?!
While you’re aiming around the corner with your weapon, hold down the third-person button, stop aiming, and finally, let go of the third-person button. Congrats! You’ve not activated the teleportation glitch. From there, simply press the same button for third-person and you’ll find yourself back in the same spot where you activated the exploit.
This is a nifty option for those who like to retrace their journey, and can even be used from a strategic standpoint for some of those extra intense battles in the wasteland!
15 Becoming A Super-Being (Fallout: New Vegas)
While you can upgrade your character in the Fallout games, there’s also a careful balancing act that has to be done in order to stop some players from becoming overpowered. Well, meet Fallout: New Vegas, a game that unintentionally allows you to become superhuman.
Before you ever leave Goodsprings at the start of the game, you can acquire various perks. However, when the glitch activates after you leave the area, you can continue to build your character, with these upgrades still remaining intact. Think of it as a little more power than the developers intended you to have.
So how do you use it? Kill the Powder Gangers in Run Goodsprings Run (passing the Speech and Barter checks in the process) and you’ll be rewarded with various new pieces of kit, as well some much sought after XP. Hit level 30 before you exit the area, and you’ll now be able to carry those hard-earned perks along with you.
14 Good Karma For Cheating? (Fallout 2)
They say cheaters never prosper, but in Fallout 2, that’s certainly not the case. You can thank one silly bug for that, one which awards good karma for behaving wrongly. Yes, it allows players to receive Karma for repeating the same action over and over again.
If you format the Hubologists’ hard drive, you’ll instantly receive 25 Karma. How do you do this? Through an intricate set of conversation strands. First, ask Dave Handy where he is from and what brought him to San Francisco. Then, tell him and Vikki that they both like each other. Now, you can ask Dave to format the hard drive to your heart’s content.
It’s certainly a cheap way to earn as much Karma as you want, but it’s nonetheless there if you want to exploit it.
13 Overdoing It With The Praise (Fallout 1)
Everyone likes to be praised every now and again, but Fallout 1 takes it to uncomfortable levels with this design blunder. Because if you follow a set number of conditions in one of its scouting quests, you’ll be sick of hearing how great you are when all’s said and done.
It activates by offering to scout out the northern parts of the map for Maxson, blowing up the military base, informing him that the base is overrun with mutants, before finally attending the Elder meeting. The result? The Elder on the bottom left-hand side of your screen will sing your praises in an endless loop.
It’s nice that he congratulates you, but when it’s this irritating, we’d rather he just kept quiet instead.
12 By No ‘Stretch’ Of The Imagination (Fallout 3)
Speaking of design flaws, they don’t come much more flawed than this shocking mistake in Fallout 3, one which is enough to frighten even the most hardened video game player. That’s right, it’s those terrifying spaghetti character models.
If you were fortunate enough to avoid this error, count yourself lucky. For those that didn’t, however, they got to spectate monsters and NPCs float in mid-air after death while their bodies stretched and contorted in terrifying fashion.
It typically happens whenever they’ve been blown up by huge explosions, except, they don’t disintegrate or split into bits, but rather, grow and stretch, much to the shock and horror of whoever happens upon this creepy glitch. Yikes!
11 Into The Void (Fallout 2)
Secret locations are often included in games for players to go searching for. However, the ones in Fallout 2 were intentionally put there for that reason. No, in fact, they were unused areas that simply weren’t taken out before the game shipped.
One in particular by the name of Den Residential can be accessed by pressing 3 in the town map. Another unnamed location can be visited by pressing 5 while viewing the map of San Francisco, an area consisting of just a black rectangle along with the tag ‘unused art.’
Clearly, this was never meant to be left in the game, however, we’re sort of glad that it was just for times like these!
10 You Talking To Me?! (Fallout 4)
Fallout 4 is fantastic in many ways, but sloppy in others. One mistake that probably went over your head is the way your character addresses the NPCs in the game. Yes, despite the fact that you don’t know them from a hole in the wall, you’ll still miraculously know their name.
Unless your character is psychic, there’s no real logical reason for why they would know every non-playable character’s name. Maybe the radiation’s somehow affected your brain, or maybe the developers just messed up. Yeah, we’ll go out on a limb and assume it’s the latter.
Of course, there are worse issues in the game to contend with, but it’s still worth a mention nonetheless.
9 Replacing The Old With The New (Fallout Shelter)
2015’s Fallout Shelter isn’t without its blemishes either, as evidenced by this silly oversight. Because while you’re usually charged for removing rocks from buildings in the title, one bug means that you’ll get off scot-free without paying a dime.
Simply tap on the building you wish to erect, choose where you want it to go, do away with the rocks until your money’s depleted, and you’re good to go. Now you have a nice new building without the need to pay to have the rocks removed, a considerably more expensive transaction.
Now there’s one way to cut costs in Fallout Shelter, because who wants to pay for rock removals in the first place?!
8 An Unorthodox Escape (Fallout: New Vegas)
Ever wished you could use a Space Hopper in Fallout: New Vegas (Haven’t we all?)? Well, it turns out you pretty much can, albeit through rather unconventional means: your armor.
It’s actually quite a simple glitch to activate. Simply press grab immediately after jumping on the piece of armor, and you’ll now find that you can suspend in mid-air, perfect for getting you out of some dangerous battles. What’s more, you can keep doing it to further propel you into the air.
It’s even possible to reach areas which aren’t supposed to be accessed by exploiting the bug. Who doesn’t love some multi-purpose armor, especially when it flings you out of danger and into safety!
7 Innocent Until Proven Guilty (Fallout 3)
Most games penalize you for killing civilians, but for all you cruel, heartless gamers out there, there is a way around the sticky matter in Fallout 3. Yes, taking a page out of the Hitman playbook, players can unceremoniously do away with NPCs indirectly.
You can fiendishly wipe them out with objects without doing the dirty work yourself. What’s more, the unscrupulous actions won’t affect your Karma or XP in the slightest, so get to work! Some of the ways you can dispose of them include vehicle explosions, object lethality, and even companion mauling. Lovely…
So if that one extremely irritating NPC is getting on your nerves again, just remember that you can make them sleep with the fishes using this outrageous bug.
6 Punching Above Your Weight (Fallout 1)
Back to the first installment with this eye-roll-inducing oversight. Tired of constantly being over the maximum weight limit because of silly objects like plates and forks taking up space? Then here’s one workaround that should prove useful.
Either barter or thieve items when your inventory is close to full capacity, and you’ll notice that it doesn’t have an effect. Steal and haggle as much as you want because you can now fill your bags up with everything you ever wanted without worrying about weight restrictions.
The problem has since been eradicated, meaning we’ve now got no way to get around the extremely frustrating inventory restrictions in the Fallout games since. This is actually one bug I wish was still in the games…
5 He’s Behind You! (Fallout 4)
Thought teleportation was good? Well, how about complete invisibility? Surprisingly, it is possible in Fallout 4, after following some very specific actions. No more getting shot at from out of nowhere. With this exploit, you can sneak up on enemies unawares.
First of all, ensure that your stealth skill is at lvl. 5. Then, make sure you’ve got a piece of armor that has the chameleon perk, or instead, Power Armor with the Stealthboy modification. Start by crouching for a few seconds in order to enable the invisibility cloak, then, stand up and crouch, repeating the action several times.
And what do you know, you’re now completely invisible, even while running! Now go and show those angry raiders how it’s done.
4 Knows No Bounds (Fallout: New Vegas)
If the map in Fallout: New Vegas is for some reason not big enough for you, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to break through the invisible barrier which cordons off the outside area. Thankfully, it’s also pretty simple to do.
Simply press your character up against the correct rocks at the border of the game’s map, and you’ll slowly begin to squeeze through it. However, don’t go expecting there to be much beyond it, it’s pretty much just a barren wasteland, only really serving as an empty space for you to use your imagination in.
Most video games have map barriers, but few allow the player to bypass them. With this glitch in Fallout: New Vegas, however, that’s not the case.
3 I'm All Ears (And Fingers)... (Fallout 3)
Here’s another freaky one to look out for in Fallout 3, a mistake that really is the stuff of nightmares. Because if you have access to either the Lawbreaker perk or the Contract Killer perk, you’ll be able to knock NPCs out cold. However, it’s what happens after that…
Once you’ve put their lights out, you’ll notice something very odd, they have now spawned an extra ear and finger. Yes, you read that right. The inexplicable bug can be repeated every time you knock someone unconscious, and every time they will sprout out extra fingers and ears. Umm, why?
It’s just more evidence to back up the fact that the Fallout games are littered with glitches, bugs, and exploits, as you’ll see with our final two entries…
2 Looting The Reserves (Fallout 2)
If the last entry was a little out there, then this one is a bit more straightforward, albeit a mistake that really shouldn’t be in there in the first place. You shouldn’t be able to loot shopkeepers at no expense, but in Fallout 2, you can.
To find this blooper, you first must pass through Broken Hills Downtown, where you’ll find four lockers if you go in a north-east direction. Three of them contain the shopkeeper’s inventory, while the fourth is used as a storage box for bartering purposes. Except, you can plant explosives here so he gets a nasty surprise when he opens it.
You can repeat the process; rig the locker, barter with the shopkeeper, and boom! You now have a deceased shopkeeper ripe for looting. Mwahahaha.
1 The Ultimate Companion (Fallout 4)
Topping our list of elusive mistakes in the Fallout games is this one from the most recent installment. It’s one which pretty much negates the whole point of having an inventory–and more importantly, its weight restrictions.
The game doesn’t make you cart around your junk like games from the series in the past, but rather, use your human companions to store some of it for you. However, even they can only carry so much… or can they? It seems there’s an odd bug which allows them to carry more than their capacity will allow by simply dropping said item and ordering them to pick it up.
And just like that, you can bypass any capacity problems at the drop of a hat (quite literally). That finishes our round-up of 25 shocking mistakes you never noticed in the Fallout series. Chances are we’ll see 25 more in the future, it is Bethesda after all!